You won’t see Kazan city on people’s list of cities to visit in Europe. This is quite surprising considering the reality that Kazan has a lot to offer. Kazan is one of Russia’s old cities and is often referred to as the “third capital of Russia” after Moscow and St. Petersburg. This city has beautiful streets, cozy parks, unique Tatar cuisine and culture that deserve your attention. With a population of about 1.2 million people, this city is one of the largest educational, economic, sports and cultural centers in Russia. Kazan has outstanding architecture and definitely a highlight of Trans-Siberian tours. If you’re planning to visit this one-of-a-kind city, here are the things to see and do in Kazan Russia.
Wander in the Middle Ages in the Kremlin
When you study the History of Russia, you’ll find out that most of the country’s cities started with the construction of a kremlin. Well, that explains why there’s one in Kazan or let’s just say Kazan couldn’t be an exception. No matter the time of the year you travel to Kazan, plan to start your tour of the city here. The Kazan Kremlin is a World Heritage site that dates back to the sixteenth and seventeenth century.
Get Inspiration from The Temple of All Religions
The Temple of All Religions is possibly the most unusual place in Kazan. This is a Russian religious complex that displays elements of almost all the major faiths in the world. There are delightful colors and design draws on sixteen different faiths in the world. This is a representation of the union of the major religions under the same roof which you must see.
Get Impressed by the Kul Sharif Mosque
The Kul Sharif Mosque in Kazan is probably the most impressive structure you’ll ever see. Or let’s just say it one of the most beautiful buildings you’ll ever see anywhere. Located in the grounds of the Kremlin, the Kul Sharif Mosque is a prominent symbol of the city and considered one of Europe’s largest mosques. Although Muslims gather at this place for prayer during major religious holidays, the sight largely functions as a museum. It was built in the sixteenth century before being destroyed in 1552. The rebuilding of the mosque started in 1996 and was completed in 2005.
Watch a Match at the Kazan Arena
Kazan has developed and become one of Russia’s capital of sports. The city hosts different sports events and tournaments. Moreover, Kazan is now a host city for the 2018 FIFA world cup. Kazan Arena has hosted several international competitions and will be hosting several games during the world cup. With a capacity of 450,000 people, Kazan Arena is a great place to catch a match.
Explore the Exhibitions at the Hermitage
Although the Hermitage museum in Kazan is not as famous as its sibling in St. Petersburg, it has more to offer and a must-visit for art lovers. It’s the perfect place to go and learn how the Russian and International art has evolved across different artistic periods and designs. The exhibitions here showcase art across painting, jewelry, and sculpture. The elegant interiors in the building will be a major highlight of your trip to Kazan.
Taste the Tatar Cuisine
To appreciate the real homemade Tatar cuisine, sample the flavors from any of the great restaurants and cafes. There are prominent restaurants that made Kazan to called a heaven of foodies. With influence from both the Russian and Eastern cuisine, the restaurants in Kazan will offer you food that will satisfy your taste. Not to forget the Chak-Chak Museum that is dedicated to providing traditional tartar food and drinks.
Interact with the Locals in Bauman Street
Someone may wonder how a local street can be considered a tourist destination. Well, Bauman Street is not your typical street that you’re used to back at home. The pedestrian street has everything from cafes, to museums, shops, and souvenir shops. You also get to be entertained by street performers and buskers. The street also has a vibrant nightlife which means you can get your spot at one of the clubs, restaurants or shisha bars around. Don’t forget to interact and rub shoulders with the locals.